James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Palestinians Fear East Jerusalem Land Grab

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The New York Times ran this article, ‘Palestinians Fear East Jerusalem Land Grab’, today, which notes in part, “In many cases the Palestinian landowners in the Bethlehem area live only a short distance from their Jerusalem property, and in some cases are right next to it.

“Johnny Atik lives in a house next to his eight acres of olive trees. His house is in Bethlehem, while the olive grove is on land that is part of Jerusalem, according to Israel. The Israeli separation barrier runs through Mr. Atik’s backyard, separating him from his olive trees, Mr. Seidemann said. In November the military sent a letter telling Mr. Atik that his grove now belonged to the Custodian of Absentee Properties in Israel, according to Mr. Seidemann.”

Adverse possession and government takings in genuine cases of abandonment should be acceptable to most people, including libertarians. But, if this example is representative, the government action here goes well beyond morally permissible conduct. May G-d help Daniel Seidemann, the Israeli lawyer representing many of the affected landowners.

That said, if Israel formally annexes East Jerusalem as a part of a final status Israel, so be it. People’s property rights should be protected, but given the history of rule of law in Israel and Palestine, an Israeli protector of property rights is probably more reliable than a Palestinian one.


Written by JamesEJ

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 3:10 pm

Posted in other

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